WHERE: 58 rue d'Argout, 2ème arrondissement
WHEN: 8h-18h Monday-Friday; 9h-18h Saturday, closed Sundays
HOW MUCH: crème 4.2€; espresso 2.5€
METRO: Sentier (line 3); Étienne Marcel (line 4)
BEANS: Varying, on rotation (Lomi, Coutume, amongst others)
FOOD: Homemade pastries, sandwiches, wraps
CONTACT: Facebook

New Zealand is a quirky place, with some memorable place names. Ever heard of Waipu? Why not? What about Cape Foulwind, the closest cape to neighbouring Australia? 

Matamata is another Kiwi town that has made a name for itself. This small rural settlement at the base of the Kaimai Ranges was used as the location for Hobbiton in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Thankfully, New Zealand isn’t only known for its beautiful Middle Earth landscapes - our neighbours across the Tasman also have some damn fine coffee.

It should thus come as no surprise that you can find some damn fine coffee at Matamata Coffee in rue d’Argout, Paris 2ème.

Franco-Kiwi couple Gaël and Leigh Soucasse, along with their barista friend Gérald Arékonamand, kicked things off in September 2014 after dabbling in specialty coffee for a few years. The three out-of-towners (Gaël and Gérald being from Toulouse and La Réunion respectively) have done an excellent job in creating a great café with a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. Seating 10-15 upstairs and more downstairs, it’s a great place to come for breakfast, lunch or for an afternoon pick-me-up. 

The place was actually such a hit when it opened that the the Mayor of Matamata, Jan Barnes, wrote to the owners to express her and the town's delight at the prospect of being the namesake of a trendy Parisian café. See for yourself when you go there: the letter's up in the bathroom.

Folks and Sparrows

WHERE:  14 Rue St. Sebastien, 11th arrondissement. 
WHEN: 10:00 – 18:00, Tuesdays – Sundays
HOW MUCH: crème 4.5€; espresso: 2.5€
METRO: St. Sebastien – Froissart (line 8) or Richard Lenoir (line 5)  
FOOD: A range of sweet and savoury edibles, for breakfast, lunch and le goûter  
CONTACT: Facebook; Tel: +33 9 81 45 90 99 

Contributed by Alex Fox and Emily Jackson
Photos by Alex Fox

Folks and Sparrows, one of the latest additions to Paris’ 11th-arrondissement coffee scene, makes an effort to delight a visitor’s every sense. And delight them it does. 

Instantly upon entering the premises, you are greeted by the sweet smell of cinnamon and the serenading sound of calm country music. They permeate the café and set the scene for the enjoyable experience to follow. 

The décor and design of the interior are exceptional; the subtle, minimalist layout means that it is the customers and the produce that fill the room with colour. I like that. The space itself certainly perpetuates the rustic feel that the owner, Franck, envisioned after drawing inspiration from his days as the manager of a Brooklyn restaurant and his time spent in upstate New York. 

The pattern on the flooring is like a 3D optical illusion, making you feel like you have tumbled into some culinary wonderland. But rest assured, this is all real.

In any case, while the spirit of the café is certainly something to get excited about, it’s the coffee that does the talking. The Lomi beans, crafted into a customised Folks and Sparrows blend, more than satiate your appetite for caffeine. Leaning against the cool, stone wall of what seems like an ancient Parisian wine cellar, you feel like you are partaking in an age-old ritual, quietly contemplating the richness of the beverage at each sip. Nice.

Besides the coffee, Folks and Sparrows is home to a wide range of succulent edibles, like their own twist on the classic jambon-fromage, consisting of Prince de Paris ham (the best in the land, legend has it), Conté, Violette de Brive mustard and red pepper vinegar. It sounds fancy, but when it’s in full gustative harmony with your taste buds, it’s so beautifully simple. So simple, and so tasty. Other options include soups, bagels and tarts, both sweet and savoury. 

One of the highlights of this memorable place is the strikingly symmetrical shelf arrangement, to your left as you walk in. Stocked with produce from lands far and near, this impressive display boasts such exoticisms as Jamaican rum, Wisconsin(ian?) steel-cut oats, and Portuguese sardines. Coupled with the pickles, cheese, jams and drinks in the glass display cabinet, the mini-épicerie at Folks and Sparrows will keep you intrigued during your visit.

Thank You, My Deer

WHERE: 112 Rue Saint-Maur, 75011 (11ème arrondissement)
WHEN:  Tue - Fri 8am-6pm; Sat - Sun 12pm-6pm (closed Mondays)
HOW MUCH: espresso 2€; crème 4€ (slightly cheaper for takeaway) 
METRO: Parmentier (line 2); Couronnes (line 2); Goncourt (line 11)
BEANS: Coutume
FOOD: a wide range of gluten-free breakfast and lunch options
CONTACT: WebFacebook; Tel: +33 1 71 93 16 24

Café contributed by Holly Foxcroft

Oberkampf is one of Paris' prime nightspots, home to a host of bars and clubs that bring the neighbourhood to life at sunset and to a swift, drunken demise shortly thereafter. However, as a day spot, the area is considerably less vibrant. One thing certainly lacking in the quarter is an abundance of good coffee shops. Fortunately, Thank You, My Deer is an exception.

Tucked away right between rue Jean-Pierre Thimbaud and rue Oberkampf, Thank You, My Deer has a menu that is as colourful as its fantastic geometric interior. Home-made sandwiches, salads, sweet and savoury waffles and tartines gourmandes populate the proudly gluten-free range that owners Jana and Sonia have put together.

Affectionately referred to as "Le Cerf", Thank You, My Deer opened in 2013 after its Slovakian founders recognised a distinct lack of gluten-free dining options in Paris. While I, like Steven Poole, have my reservations about those who have reservations about gluten, there is certainly just cause for its development in France, and more particularly in Paris. An increasingly experimental local population, coupled with the presence of fussy tourists and expats, means that the French can no longer turn their noses up at gluten-free dining. Besides, given that there actually are coeliacs in France, it's high-time someone stood up for them in the face of the boulangerie bullies, taunting them at every corner. 

The lunch menu changes weekly, with prices ranging from 4-9€ for soups, salads and sandwiches, while the sweet pastries and cakes go for around 2.50-4.50€ a pop. On Saturdays and Sundays, a mere 20€ will buy you an outrageously copious brunch, consisting of a freshly-pressed fruit juice, a bowl of granola (or soup in winter), two open sandwiches, some salad, a coffee and a dessert, all homemade. I don't think I've ever heard of such brunch-time madness. 

Beans are provided by Coutume and brought to life on a Marzocco Classic by the café's experienced baristas, who receive Coutume training if they're not already qualified. After its opening, Thank You, My Deer actually hosted barista Emmanuel Buschiazzo, founder of Réseau des Baristas de France, whose passage is certainly testament to Jana and Sonia's serious attitude towards coffee.

With Thank You, My Deer, Jana and Sonia cater for two under-served markets in Paris, and bring a burst of colour to Oberkampf's daytime character. As for the name, there's no profound meaning to it, but it sure is catchy.

Boot Café

WHERE: 19 Rue du Pont aux Choux, 75003 (3ème arrondissement) 
WHEN: 10am-6pm everyday 
HOW MUCH: espresso 2€; crème 4€; Chemex 4€
METRO: Saint Sebastien - Froissart (line 8) 
BEANS: Belleville Brûlerie 
FOOD: some sweet little nibbles and fresh fruit; a few savoury lunch dishes 
CONTACT: Web; Facebook; Tel: +33 6 26 41 10 66 

Contributed by Alex Fox
Photos by Laurie Illan

There are some places that fill you with an instant and effortless sense of coolness as soon as you walk in the door. Boot Café is one such place. 

This bright blue hole-in-the-wall espresso bar opened in early-2014 in the northeast Marais, an area with a growing number of decent coffee shops. Built into an old cobbler’s shop, the minuscule café consists of only three low tables, tucked neatly into the walls. The décor is reminiscent of a sunkissed California, with black and white photos of ‘50s surfers and an eclectic assortment of postcards lining the walls.

A lone barista, Lloyd, selects the tunes on his music device, lining up an appropriate soundtrack of the Beach Boys as he greets me with a smile and a hearty bonjour. After I order my coffee, it is understood that, not only are we both not French, but we are both Australian - an increasingly unsurprising discovery in the specialty coffee scene in Paris. 

Despite the size, the café sees no lack of business. It handles customers comfortably, as the clientele arrives in small but regular numbers throughout the day. Lloyd, a former Lockwoodian, describes the harmonious cycle of service that exists between Boot Café and the surrounding bars: “The barmen wake up late in the afternoon, and come in for a coffee before they start work. Then when we finish at the café, the baristas go to the bars and are served by those same barmen”. I like that.

Throughout the conversation, I sip slowly on my café crème, crafted on the Marzocco from a Peru-Burundi blend provided by Belleville Brûlerie. It’s right on point, and I’m happy.

The highlight of my visit comes when Lloyd offers me a coconut after I finish my coffee. This seems to suit the exotic theme quite well, so I accept, and watch as he surgically pierces the coconut's solid shell with a battery-powered drill. After finishing the fruit’s refreshing contents, I am directed to smash the coconut onto the footpath, which I do with great enthusiasm. Lloyd then washes the shattered pieces and serves them in a bowl for me to eat.

Besides smashed coconut and a small selection of sweets, Boot's food menu also includes a Jamaican-style escovitch (10€) and an omelette (7.5€). Sunday is savoury congée brunch-time, going for 7.5€ and topped with an impressive array of spices and seasonings, which all conspire to transport your tastebuds to a tropical elsewhere. The standout item on the breakfast menu is the granola, provided by our old mate Emperor Norton. (I sometimes wonder what cafés in Paris would do without their beloved Emperor).

If there's any doubt left in your mind about the coolness of Boot Café, let it be known that they recently offered a week's worth of free coffee to anyone who could come in and rap an entire Biggie Smalls verse, on the occasion of the BK rapper's birthday. What a damn shame that I was out of town when that was happening, since, thanks to my visit to Boot Café, I just might have been cool enough to win it.


WHERE: 51 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 (1er arrondissement)
WHEN: 8am-6:30pm everyday
HOW MUCH: espresso 2.5€; cappuccino 4€
METRO: Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre (lines 1, 7) 
BEANS: Workshop Coffee Co.
FOOD: Gluten free baked goods
CONTACT: Web; Tel: +33 1 40 15 62 31 

Article: Yasmin Zeinab
Photos: Yannick Slade-Caffarel

I must admit: I spent most of my summer in Paris strolling around the beautiful gardens of the Palais Royal with a Café Kitsune sorbet in hand. But I wasn’t the only one. I promise. 

After the successful launch of its first café in Tokyo, fashion, music and lifestyle brand Maison Kitsune has ventured into the ever-expanding Parisian coffee scene. Since its opening in early 2014, tourists and locals alike have flocked to Café Kitsune for the great coffee and good vibes. Being very central, Kitsune is an ideal place to stop for a caffeine fix while sightseeing or window-licking in the 2ème. It’s a stone’s throw from the Louvre and is situated in an impeccable location, right amongst the boutique arcades of the Jardin du Palais Royal. 

On the inside, the café boasts a stylish, clean aesthetic, although with limited seating. It compensates for this with an ode to the Italian coffee tradition: a beautiful long counter to lean against while sipping on an espresso. Behind the coffee machine, you’ll find local and international baristas who serve up coffee from the London-based Workshop Coffee Co. 

The folks at Kistune have also got the juice game covered, serving a range of Bob’s Cold Press juices, from regular fruit juices to bottles of healthy green stuff, which people these days seem to enjoy. Finally, much to the delight of the residents of South Park, Café Kitsune is also a gluten-free safe haven, serving tasty pastries and cakes from the cleverly-named Noglu.

Like a lot of new cafés in Paris, Kitsune isn’t just about nice coffee. It’s about nice things in general, served by nice people in a really nice location, all in the heart of a nice city.

(As far as the sorbet goes, it’s a summer specialty, so you’ll have to wait a few months before you can freeze your brain with that tasty stuff).


WHERE: 174 rue de la Roquette, 75011 (11ème arrondissement)
WHEN: Tue-Fri 8:30am-midnight; Sat 10am-midnight; Sun 11am-6pm
HOW MUCH: café crème 5€; espresso 2.50€; filter 3€
METRO: Phillippe Auguste (line 2); Père Lachaise (lines 2,3); Voltaire (line 9)
BEANS: Belleville Brûlerie
FOOD: Fully-fledged café and restaurant (see menu here)
CONTACT: Web; Facebook; Tel: +33 9 81 60 17 36

Contributed by Erik and Lisa from
It’s only been a few weeks since I packed my bags and left my Scandinavian motherland, but as I step through the doors of this café, it feels like I’m already back home.

“Hi, welcome to Clint!” The warm welcome is extended by Xavier, one of the three owners of Clint, a combined café-restaurant-épicerie located but a stone's throw from the resting place of our old mates Oscar Wilde and Joseph Fourier.

It’s the colourful and minimalistic interior décor, the rustic but sleek wooden tables, and that familiarly enchanting smell of freshly ground coffee beans that take me back to my Swedish homeland, where specialty coffee has been celebrated for many years.

Karim, another proprietor of this fine establishment, works magic on the Marzocco as he serves me a smooth, full-bodied cappuccino decorated with stylish latte art. If his experience at La Caféothèque hadn’t already guaranteed a memorable cup, his dedication to the good coffee cause certainly did. Like many other baristas in this business of beans, Karim strives to exceed the expectations of an increasingly refined Parisian coffee palate, while spreading the good word to the unconverted. Their blend comes from our friends at Belleville Brûlerie and changes monthly, just to keep things interesting.

Besides excellent coffee, Clint offers all manner of other beverages (Brooklyn Lager on tap in Paris, whodathunkit?) and full à la carte dining from dawn till dusk, with prices ranging from 6-10€ for entrées and 15-20€ for mains. Lunchtime is a bit more cost-effective, with mains going for 12€ and set menus for 15-18€. Once you’re done with your meal, mosey on over to the épicerie section to see Clint’s fine array of quality goods and funky knickknacks.

Karim, Xavier and Gary have each brought their respective dreams to fruition through Clint. Between the café, the restaurant and the épicerie, the three owners have delivered an eclectic setting in which to appreciate all things fine.

Belleville Brûlerie

WHERE: 10 rue Pradier, 75019 (19ème arrondissement) – right next to Buttes-Chaumout, Paris' funkiest park
WHEN: Open Saturdays only, 11:30am-5:30pm
HOW MUCH: cupping session 20€ (bag of beans included); espresso/filter/pour-over 4-5€
METRO: Belleville (lines 2, 11); Pyrénées (line 11)
BEANS: Belleville Brûlerie, roasted on premises
CONTACT: Web; Facebook; Tel: +33 09 83 75 60 80

This is an interesting and symbolic place that deserves something of a special mention.

First, we'll be clear on one thing: Belleville Brûlerie is not really a café. It is a micro-roaster (brûlerie is an old French word for 'roaster'), open to the public on Saturdays, that provides beans to a number of specialty coffee joints in Paris. If you're after a Williamsburg latte or a Melbourne macchiatto then you're out of luck: all you'll find here is espresso and brewed coffee. They don't even stock milk.

Thomas Lehoux, David Flynn and Anselme Blayney (of Ten Belles, Télescope and Le Bal, respectively) opened up shop in September 2013 following an apparent desire to move further into the bean sourcing and roasting realms of the specialty coffee world.

At 11:30 on Saturday mornings they run "initiation to coffee" cupping sessions for up to 8 people (bookings essential). These will set you back 20€, but come with a complementary bag of Belleville beans. Attendees are advised not to eat or drink beforehand, as this supposedly ensures the highest degree of sensitivity to the subtleties of each coffee variety being sampled. For the rest of the day, espresso and brewed coffee (filter, Chemex and other pour-over styles) are available for around 4-5€.

In this sense, Belleville Brûlerie isn't the kind of place you can quickly pop by for a caffeine hit before carrying on with your day. Instead, you go there to appreciate the unique flavour and complexity of the myriad different coffee beans on offer, and to share the experience with other enthusiasts, who range from the humbly curious to the intimidatingly well-informed.

So besides the intimate and inspiring coffee experience you can have there, what is so important about this place?

Everything about Belleville Brûlerie epitomises a significant aspect of specialty coffee not only in Paris, but around the world.

Firstly, its location in an ever-gentrifying, former working class district of the French capital reflects the role that coffee plays in transforming the urban landscape of large cities. It's always amazing to see how quickly trendy espresso bars appear once a working-class neighbourhood is injected with a dose of young, creative middle-class urbanites.

Secondly, the owners' diverse backgrounds attest to the global-ness of the movement. People might bicker over the origins of the so-called 'third wave', but at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter where it started. What matters is where it is now.

These days, the essence of specialty coffee is basically removed from physical geography. It exists in its own little hybrid world: a beautiful blend of online social networks and trendy pockets of urban centres, uniting passionate coffee fiends from all over the globe.

The all-encompassing, holistic term of 'specialty coffee' manifests on many levels. There are the innovations in roasting, extraction and brewing methods, as coffee geeks rediscover the old and pioneer the new. There is the promotion of fairer trade arrangements and closer contact with growers, which is coupled with a greater interest in the geographical origin of the contents of one's coffee cup. There is even a sort of aesthetic standard for cafés that deal in specialty coffee. Whether it's the rustic, minimalistic wooden or bare-brick interiors; the stylish ephemera and quirky bric-a-brac; the felt letter boards; the clipboard menus; the tattooed, bewhiskered baristas;  juice served in jars; the elegant simplicity of the logo, or maybe the plain black façade, there's always something that links your local espresso joint to another one on the other side of the world.

The very inception of Belleville Brûlerie is indicative of the momentum that third-wave coffee has gathered in Paris. A trip there will teach you about more than just the coffee you're drinking: it will tell you something about the past, present and future of specialty coffee in Paris.